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Monday, December 21, 2015 - 2:00pm

Since the start of the fall semester International Business Class has had two guest lectures the students were surprised by - Founder and Global Creative Director of essie cosmetics, Essie Weingarten and her business partner and husband Max Sortino. 

Weingarten and Sortino visited the class early on to talk about business practices, specifically what they did to build the Brand essie and what it was like to sell to L’Oréal. They are also part of a panel of judges that will be reviewing class presentations, Weingarten and Sortino for beauty industries, KLM and Airbus for airlines, Bloomberg for investment management and banking. 

School of Business Instructor Chuck Garcia said: “Essie and Max give the students the inside story of what it is really like to grow a business. They give them great lessons on competence, character and leadership – all things necessary to build a brand. You can’t learn in a textbook the things that Max and Essie are teaching them.”

Weingarten founded essie cosmetics in New York City in 1981. Equipped with her first collection of 12 stunning nail colors, witty names and sheer determination, Weingarten set out for Las Vegas, the land of the glamorous and wealthy, to promote her polishes. Salons loved them, as did their high-end clientele, and the brand’s popularity grew overnight. Information about the brand spread by word of mouth and pretty soon salons and spas all over the world began requesting essie nail polish. More than 30 years and 900 nail colors later – Essie Cosmetics is still a favorite among beauty and fashion editors, celebrities, top manicurists and sophisticated women around the world.

Garcia said the student in his class react to Weingarten like a “rocket launch.” Her strong New York personality brings to life the lessons of business. Garcia said: “Essie breaks all the molds! And while students today are in a generation that has grown up knowing successful and accomplished women, it’s still important that our female students see a woman who had an idea and the courage and conviction to act on her idea.”